FOI Request - Council Housing Termination Policies
This is a Freedom of Information request for all information specifically relating to Moray Council policies concerning the termination of council tenants contracts and exactly when and where and under what circumstances may termination of tenancy contracts be actioned within the council homes allocation policies.
This is information regarding how a tenant can end their tenancy:
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 and 2014, requires Moray Council to provide tenants with a Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement when renting out council housing. Please find attached here a link to a sample Scottish Secure Tenancy; Section 6 of the agreement provides information on the only ways the tenancy can be ended and so we can confirm that this information is exempt under section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 ' information otherwise accessible'.
This is information of how the Council would end a tenancy:
Our Evictions Policy is available on the Moray Council website and so please be advised that this information is therefore exempt under section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 ' information otherwise accessible'. For ease of reference please find a link to the web page here.
Moray Council will only consider eviction action as a last resort once all other possible remedies have been exhausted.
Sections 14-16, 36 and Schedule 2 of the 2001 Act, as amended by the 2014 Act, sets out the full list of grounds on which a court can make an order to terminate a Scottish secure tenancy and give the landlord the right to recover possession of the property. There are 14 grounds:
Grounds 1 – 7 are ‘conduct grounds’. The court must be satisfied that it is reasonable to grant the order and allow the landlord to recover possession.
Grounds 8 – 14 are ‘management grounds’. The court must grant an order where it is satisfied that other suitable accommodation is made available to the tenant.
Paragraph 4.2 of our Evictions Policy contains a link to the above legislation and sets out the legislative grounds the Council use for evictions from a social tenancy (Scottish Secure Tenancy). The most commonly used grounds by Moray Council are:
Ground 1 - Rent arrears where the rent lawfully due from the tenant has not been paid, or any other obligation of the tenancy has been broken.
Ground 2 - Criminal Conviction - The tenant (or any one of joint tenants), a person residing or lodging in the house with, or subtenant of the tenant has been convicted of—
(a) using the house or allowing it to be used for immoral or illegal purposes, or
(b) an offence punishable by imprisonment committed in, or in the locality of, the house.
Ground 7 - Antisocial behaviour - The tenant (or any one of joint tenants), a person residing or lodging in the house with, or any subtenant of, the tenant, or a person visiting the house has—
(a) acted in an anti-social manner in relation to a person residing in, visiting or otherwise engaged in lawful activity in the locality, or
(b) pursued a course of conduct amounting to harassment of such a person, or a course of conduct which is otherwise anti-social conduct in relation to such a person, and it is not reasonable in all the circumstances that the landlord should be required to make other accommodation available to the tenant.
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, as amended 2014, requires Moray Council to provide tenants with a Scottish Secure Tenancy agreement when renting out council housing. This tenancy agreement sets out the responsibilities of both Moray Council (as a social landlord) and the tenant. Sample tenancy agreements can be found on Moray Council website here. Please find link here to a sample Scottish Secure Tenancy. Section 6 of the agreement provides information on the only ways the tenancy can be ended.
Where there is a potential breach under the tenancy agreement, Moray Council will always attempt to work with the tenant to help provide advice and support or signpost the tenant to a relevant support service for specific and enhanced support where required.
A short secure tenancy may also be considered rather than eviction to help provide an enhanced support package in an attempt to sustain the tenancy rather than evict where possible. Our Short Scottish Secure Tenancy (SSST) Policy can also be found on Moray Council website here. It provides further details of the circumstances where Moray Council as a landlord can legally consider the use of such a tenancy.